If you’re going on a trip to a new city, your preparation will turn up all sorts of entertainment options. But a lot of the time, these options revolve largely around what’s newest, or what most recently made some travel blog’s “best of” lists. Every now and then it can be fun to look a little bit deeper, and find an older, “classic” sort of attraction as opposed to following the latest trends.
This process will be different for each city, but here are four suggestions for old-school attractions that – generally – can take your trip from generic to spectacular.
With the advent of the hipster culture movement and “foodie” enthusiasm has come a major trend toward microbreweries and beer halls. Instead of automatically choosing a swanky wine bar or classy cocktail bar in a new city, more and more tourists choose to look up local breweries so they can sample what’s on tap that they may not have tried before.
While there’s certainly something attractive about local breweries and pubs and their casual, comfortable feel, the best way to go old-school when you want to buy a round for your fellow travelers is to find a classic cocktail joint. These are the places where you can get a little dressed up without feeling like you have to be decked out in sparkles (like you might if you went clubbing). You can simply embrace your sophisticated side and relax in a more sedate high-end establishment, and still try an interesting drink or two that you likely won’t have had before. Many cosmopolitan areas still have several top bars like this that are worth the effort, and can give you every bit as good a feel for a place as the nearest brewery.
Real, In-Person Casinos
It’s not news at this point to say that online gaming is very popular, but as it relates specifically to casinos, this has drawn the focus away from in-person establishments. Casino platforms online in Canada, as well as in the UK and a few more hubs around the world, have essentially helped digital casinos go global, and in fairly impressive fashion. The need to visit a real-life casino is all but gone.
But that doesn’t mean real-life casinos can’t still be fun to visit! For one thing, there can be something refreshingly old-school about playing poker or blackjack at a real gaming table, with a dealer in uniform and fellow guests in the seats around you. Additionally though, casinos offer all sorts of other fun attractions, from live shows to fine dining to spa facilities.
While most people hear “club” these days and think first of heading out dancing, that particular sort of big city experience isn’t for everyone. Some would rather visit more casual clubs where they can have a good time without having to get sweaty, scream at friends over loud music, and dodge spilled cocktails. And this is where a comedy club – though not really a direct alternative to a night out dancing – can be a perfect solution.
When you check out an old-school comedy club, you tend to have better time than you expect. You may not even know who’s taking the stage, but there’s usually a lively atmosphere (without being over the top), and plenty of laughs. Granted, many people would rather just find their comedy online these days, particularly since it’s gotten so much more accessible. But experiencing the jokes in person, wit ha drink, a snack, and others around you enjoying the same show, is still a great time.
Indie Film Theaters
Big blockbusters have taken over most theaters, and while they can still be fun, a lot of people tire of the endless remakes and convoluted-yet-formulaic superhero plots. At any rate, you certainly don’t want to spend one of your nights in a big city out at a cinema experience you could get just about anywhere. However, lots of big cities actually have more interesting options on this front, from old-school theaters that play indie films to retro venues that show classic films from eras past. If you fancy yourself a cinephile, or you just appreciate what feels like a genuine throwback experience, you can’t go wrong with these types of options. And who knows? You might just discover an old filmmaker you love, or see an indie that winds up winning a surprise Oscar. Even if not, you’re likely in for some terrific popcorn (somehow, these smaller venues just seem to do it better!).